Word of the day

April 11, 2017

Muckibus – drunkenly sentimental; maudlin.

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Which city should you live in?

April 11, 2017

Which city should you live in?

I got Barcelona:

You can do it all in beautiful Barcelona! Whether you want history, literature, music, social life, business, or just the beauty of the seaside, you will find it here.

I’ve been there and loved it but while cities are great to visit I’d rather live in the country.

 


Loo lessons

April 11, 2017

“There’s a lot of lessons in cleaning toilets, more guys should do it. “

This is part of Prime Minister Bill English’s answer to one of 12 questions posed by Jennifer Dann.

The question was on how do he and his wife Mary juggle their work and family life.

That they do, and do it so well, is a tribute to both of them. Although being public about it doesn’t come naturally to either of them.

Modern politics and media force politicians to reveal more about themselves than was expected in the past, which isn’t easy for someone like the PM who admits to being shy.

I’m quite a shy person. I guess it’s part of that rural, big family, Catholic culture that I’m from which tends to dampen excessive self-awareness. It’s just, “Be humble. Don’t go out there telling everyone how great you are. Someone else is probably doing it better anyway.” But I’m enjoying it more than I expected.

But showing more of the person engages people who aren’t interested in politics.

Answers like this, to the question of what he’s learned from his Samoan and Italian parents-in-law helps us understand what informs his politics.

They’re a remarkable example of the promise of coming to New Zealand being realised. They raised 13 children on one income and own their own home. They had a very strong focus on their kids getting educated and maintaining their health which is a challenge in a large family on a low income.

I have enormous respect for their effort and I’m so pleased I’ve had exposure to different cultures which I wouldn’t have had as a Pakeha farmer from Southland.

His upbringing is also an important part of who he is.

He says growing up in a family of 12 children on a Southland farm was:

A mixture of discipline, hard work and adventure. We were expected to contribute to the farm and the household to the maximum of our ability at whatever age. When I was 10 I was sent out to plough our paddock on the tractor with very little instruction. At age 12 I cooked breakfast for 20 people when the shearers came up for breakfast. It was pretty basic, eggs cooked fast in hot fat. The sibling rivalry was constant. I was part of a mob of five boys at the tail end. As long as you stayed in your place it was trouble-free. I did better at school than some of them but it wasn’t like you were allowed to stay home and read books. It was a household where other skills were highly valued. You might get the best grades but were you the fastest shearer or the best fencer? My father said we were more nuggety than talented.

Family is a big part of who our PM is, so is his faith:

My faith is a significant part of who I am so it can’t help but affect my personal decision-making. It’s part of your conscience. I go to church most Sundays. I like sitting down the back as just another congregation member. You hear ideas around humility, forgiveness and mercy which are not part of the general political round. I find it very balancing.

Humility, forgiveness and mercy aren’t values often attributed to politicians and most Prime Ministers don’t clean the loos at night. But he’s a better man, and PM, for all of that.


Price of Milk fails fairness test

April 11, 2017

Sunday asked is our love affair with dairy farming over? and promoted this week’s programme as giving the farmers’ side of the story.

It was supposed to provide some balance to the anti-farming stories which have dominated media and it failed.

Jamie Mackay devoted most of yesterday’s edition of The Country to the reaction.

He interviewed Federated Farmers Dairy chair Andrew Hoggard and Waikato-based farm management consultant John Dawson:

Hoggard found the show “frustrating” as he was expecting to see farmers’ “heartfelt” reactions to criticism levelled at them in the media. Instead Andrew says he saw two farms being unfairly compared to each other which he believes would have created an unbalanced view for those not accustomed to farming.

John Dawson has a lot of clients on the Hauraki Plains where Gavin “Flinty” Flint’s farm was filmed in the documentary. He says Flint’s farm is not typical and there was a lack of “penetrating” questions for the farm that Flint’s was compared to.

Central Hawkes Bay sheep and beef farmer Steve Wyn-Harris and Northland dairy farmer Grant McCallum were equally incensed.

Wyn-Harris was looking forward to a balanced show where farmers would finally be able to tell New Zealand their side of the story. Within minutes of watching he says his “heart sank” as soon as he saw shots of Gavin “Flinty” Flint’s farm.

Wyn-Harris is so incensed he has laid a complaint with TVNZ and is fully committed to taking it the Broadcasting Standards Authority if need be. . . 

Sunday’s Facebook page  has hundreds of comments, almost all of which are critical of the show.

It also includes a post from the show’s front man Cameron Bennett saying:

We went to the Hauraki Plains with no agenda. We happened upon (as explained) Gavin Flint and he kindly showed us around. 

Happened upon? That might well be the case, but why didn’t the show use more examples.

DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle writes:

. . .Last year when we heard about this documentary, we approached the production company to provide information and we offered them farmers and industry spokespeople to interview. Several were interviewed, but none of their footage or commentary was included in the final cut.

In my job, I’m fortunate enough to see the good work you are doing on your farms, and the amazing connections you have into your communities.

Good dairying must be made more visible, especially to those that are commentating, those in regulation setting positions, and to our neighbours in the cities and towns.

At DairyNZ we are upping the ante in our efforts to engage with the media, the public and special interest groups to tell the real story of dairying.

As farmers living and working on the land, I urge you to continue to keep up the good work. We all have a role to play in the economy of our country, in staff development, in animal welfare and in care for the environment and our waterways.

To inform and change perceptions it is crucial to reach outside your circle of farming and rural friends. Tell it how it really is to people who may not know much about farming life, but enjoy their milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, etc., which arrives on their tables in a container conveniently purchased from the supermarket. Tell them you produce high quality food, and you’re proud of it. . . .

The Price of Milk  showed two atypical farms, took a far tougher approach to one than it did to the other and failed the fairness test.


Quote of the day

April 11, 2017

The key to success for everything in business, science and technology is never to follow the others. – Masaru Ibuka who was born on this day in 1908.


April 11 in history

April 11, 2017

491 – Flavius Anastasius became Byzantine Emperor, with the name ofAnastasius I.

1079 – Bishop Stanislaus of Krakow was executed by order of Bolesław II of Poland.

1241 – Batu Khan defeated Béla IV of Hungary at the Battle of Muhi.

1512 – War of the League of Cambrai: French forces led by Gaston de Foixwon the Battle of Ravenna.

1689 William III and Mary II were crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain.

1713  War of the Spanish Succession (Queen Anne’s War): Treaty of Utrecht was signed.

1770 – George Canning, English lawyer and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1827).

1775 The last execution for witchcraft in Germany took place.

1814 The Treaty of Fontainebleau ended the War of the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon Bonaparte, and forces him to abdicate unconditionally for the first time.

1828  Foundation of Bahia Blanca.

1856 Battle of Rivas: Juan Santamaria burned down the hostel where William Walker’s filibusters were holed up.

1865 President Abraham Lincoln made his last public speech.

1868 The Shogunate was abolished in Japan.

1869 – The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred, arrived in Wellington as captain of HMS Galatea. His was the first visit by a member of the Royal Family to New Zealand.

1873 Edward Lawson, Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, was born  (d. 1955).

1876  The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organised.

1888 The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was inaugurated.

1899 Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States.

1907 Ivor Spencer-Thomas, English farmer and entrepreneur, was born (d. 2001).

1908 Jane Bolin, first African-American woman judge, was born (d. 2007).

1908 Masaru Ibuka, Japanese industrialist (Sony), was born (d. 1997).

1916 – The Minnewaska, a troopship carrying the headquarters of the recently formed New Zealand Division, arrived in Marseilles, France.

1919 The International Labour Organisation was founded.

1921 The Emirate of Transjordan was created.

1928 – Ethel Kennedy, American philanthropist. was born.

1937 – Jill Gascoine, English actress and author, was born.

1945 World War II: American forces liberated the Buchenwaldconcentration camp.

1951  Korean War: President Harry Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of overall command in Korea.

1951 The Stone of Scone, the stone upon which Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned, was found on the site of the altar of Arbroath Abbey. It had been taken by Scottish nationalist students from its place in Westminster Abbey.

1952 The Battle of Nanri Island took place.

1953 Guy Verhofstadt, former Prime Minister of Belgium, was born.

1955 The Air India Kashmir Princess was bombed and crashed in a failed assassination attempt on Zhou Enlai by the Kuomintang.

1957 Britain agreed to Singaporean self-rule.

1960 Jeremy Clarkson, British journalist, was born.

1961  The trial of Adolf Eichmann began in Jerusalem.

1963 Billy Bowden, New Zealand umpire, was born.

Billy Bowden.jpg

1965 The Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965: Fifty-one tornadoes hit in six Midwestern states, killing 256 people.

1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.

1970 Apollo 13 was launched.

1976 The Apple I was created.

1979 Ugandan dictator Idi Amin was deposed.

1981 A massive riot in Brixton, South London, resulted in almost 300 police injuries and 65 serious civilian injuries.

1986 The FBI Miami shootout between eight Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and two heavily-armed and well-trained gunmen.

1987 The London Agreement was secretly signed between Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres and King Hussein of Jordan.

1990 – Customs officers in Middlesbrough,  said they had seized what they believed to be the barrel of a massive gun on a ship bound for Iraq.

1993 – 450 prisoners rioted at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio, and continued to do so for ten days, citing grievances related to prison conditions, as well as the forced vaccination of Nation of Islam prisoners (for tuberculosis) against their religious beliefs.

2001 The crew of a United States EP-3E aircraft that landed in Hainan, China after a collision with an J-8 fighter was released.

2002 The Ghriba synagogue bombing by Al Qaeda killed 21 in Tunisia.

2002 – An attempted coup d’état in Venezuela against President Hugo Chávez took place.

2006 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had successfully enriched uranium.

2007  2007 Algiers bombings: Two bombings in the Algerian capital of Algiers, killed 33 people and wounded a further 222 others.

2011 – Minsk Metro bombing.

2012 – A magnitude 8.2 earthquake hit Indonesia, off northern Sumatra at a depth of 16.4 km. After that there are still more continuation earthquake. Tsunami had hit the island of Nias at Indonesia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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